European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited two energy companies during her four-day tour of the Western Balkans. She reiterated that a EUR 6 billion investment plan for the region is in preparation.
During her four-day visit to the region, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recalled that the European Union is preparing a EUR 6 billion investment package for the Western Balkans.
Between meetings with top officials, Von der Leyen stopped to check out two energy projects funded by the EU.
In Montenegro, she went to see a power substation. In Serbia, the head of the 27-member bloc’s executive body visited Master Solar, a company that produces solar collectors near Belgrade.
Von der Leyen met with the leadership of the Montenegrin TSO Crnogorski elektroprenosni sistem (CGES), including Chairman of the Board of Directors Aleksandar Mijušković and Executive Director Ivan Asanović.
The facility she visited is one of 15 in the country within the Trans-Balkan electricity corridor. The EU funded the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment for their modernization, CGES said.
The total investment in Montenegro’s electrical grid modernization exceeds EUR 144 million
The EU has approved EUR 25 million in non-repayable grants for Montenegro to enhance this network, reduce disruptions and losses, and mitigate the effect of rising electricity prices on residents, industry, and investors. The company said the total investment in the modernization of Montenegro’s electrical grid exceeds EUR 144 million including CGES’s funds.
Visit to the solar collector plant in Belgrade
In Serbia, the European Commission chief visited Master Solar in Surčin in Belgrade. It specializes in the integration of large-scale solar thermal system projects and the production of solar collectors.
The company, supported by EU funds, exports over 95% of its production portfolio. Von der Leyen expressed hope that there would be many more similar projects within the new investment plan for the Western Balkans.
EUR 1.5 billion in European funds allocated for climate action and renewable energy
At the recent Berlin Process Summit in Tirana, the EU announced it would approve a EUR 6 billion investment package for Western Balkan countries. The region can expect EUR 2 billion in grants and EUR 4 billion in loans.
Out of the total, EUR 1.5 billion is set to be earmarked for climate action and renewable energy projects.
The approval of the package depends on the progress of reforms and meeting conditions that include integrating the Western Balkans into the EU’s single market and establishing a single regional market.